Klein Forest High School returned only four starters on each side of the ball, but the Eagles had a very good campaign last fall. The Eagles reeled off seven straight wins after starting the season 2-1 before losing in the second round of the playoffs. Linebacker Cameron Nwosu was pleased with the season.
"We did well last year. We were much better than everybody thought we were going to do. We went 9-2 overall and were co-district champs. We hadn't won the district championship in the last four or five years so it was very exciting finally winning it. In the playoffs, we won in the first round in a close, tight game against Conroe, 13-7. The following game we played Cypress Woods and lost by 7."
Nwosu is even more enthused about 2009.
"I think we'll be better next season. We have a lot of guys eager to play and are willing to work for another district tournament and that's what a great team needs. Everyone thinks we'll be young, but we were young this season and did pretty well.
"We're going to lose our running back Dominic Wilkins, but we return our best wide receivers and our top offensive lineman Zack Bolton. We have some good talent on the offensive side of the ball.
"On defense, I think we're going to be lights out next year. We have a good safety tradition and we'll be strong at the linebacker and defensive line positions. It'll be hard to find a weakness and our defense will fly sideline to sideline and create turnovers."
Cameron was an all-district linebacker his sophomore year, but he says he is a much better player now than he was back then.
"I think I improved a lot from my sophomore to junior year. Just knowing the game better and being around it makes me a smarter player. I'm in better physical shape now. I'm faster and stronger and have that spark and burst off my spot. I'm more prepared physically and mentally. I know what to expect. I learn from my mistakes to get better every day.
"On the season, I had 89 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles, 2 sacks, 5 blocked kicks, 4 hurries, 3 pass deflections, and 6 fumble recoveries."
Cameron says the best part of his game isn't anything physical. Rather, it's mental and emotional passion for the game.
"The best part of my game is my instincts, and that gives me the edge over somebody else. I'm not that tall of a person, but my instincts and explosiveness allow me to run sideline to sideline. I have a passion and love for the game. That gives me the edge over most teams and players.
"Working hard in practice, better understanding the game, and putting in the extra effort are things that are going to make me better. I need to become lighter on my feet and be more flexible. I also need to work on my pass coverage and my overall technique can always get better."
The 5'10", 220 pounder has garnered attention from the Big 10, Big 12, and a couple other schools.
"Oklahoma State, Kansas, Rice, Illinois, Iowa State, Minnesota, Purdue, and UTEP are recruiting me. So far, my only scholarship is from Rice.
Is distance going to be a factor in Cameron's decision?
"Not really. I'm looking for somewhere where I can be comfortable for four years. Family is important, but being comfortable with the coaches, the players, and the school is most important for me."
The talented linebacker is in the middle of a busy spring.
"I'm going to Rice's junior day on the 28th. I was supposed to go up to Missouri, but my ride didn't work out. Also, I'm going up to Kansas' spring game."
Although he plays football, Cameron grew up a fan of another sport.
"To be honest, I grew up watching a lot of basketball, especially college basketball. Growing up, basketball was my favorite sport and Duke was my favorite team. In football, I guess I'd say I rooted for Texas Tech since I've lived there most of my life."
Cameron is in regular contact with the Illinois coaching staff.
"I talk to the coaches about once every two weeks. Mostly it is just letters and mail at this point. I've seen episodes of The Journey and that's helped me learn about the Illini. I was able to see the dedication to detail. I know it's a good school with a tradition in football."
Cameron reports a 4.34 GPA and would like to study political science or speech pathology.